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Matters of Trust

Posted on 08 May 2017 @ 3:09am by Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD 2 || 1215 Hours

Administration on the new Century class Black Hawk-A wasn't what it was on the original Black Hawk and Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin had already had her fill of it. The team she had gotten used to working with had mostly been replaced and now she had very few personnel to work with who knew her style. Still, she was efficient as always and PADD's and instructions flowed rapidly on where this, that or the other should go, when it needed to be there and who wanted it.

When she had the initial flurry of reports compiled from the different department heads, Mila gathered them in a stack of ten PADD's, and one PADD that had the summary report, order of importance by security clearance, data access, rank, and if they were marked as Urgent. When she had everything gathered, she headed out to the nearest turbolift and requested the bridge.

After the Russian Yeoman arrived, she made her way to the Ready Room and tapped the chime before she came to a parade rest and waited to be admitted to see the man she had served for months on the old ship.

Harvey hadn't been in the Ready Room long, just long enough to refresh himself in the restroom after the morning-long inspection. He stepped out into the main room just in time to hear the chime. "Come," he said, picking up the cover that he'd left on the desk overnight and replacing it on his head.

Mila entered with a smile and for a moment, the Senior Chief Yeoman vanished as she approached his desk, looking around the room and committed it to memory. "Harvey, it is being good to be seeing you again," she said warmly. "You are looking great."

Until yesterday, Harvey's final memory of Mila was the rifle Major Jackson had strapped to her body, intending to blow her up and the bridge. Sure, he'd seen her on Deep Space 11 and New Bajor, but he'd barely spoken a word to her otherwise. A large part of him--all of him really--felt guilty for her being pressed into that position. He hadn't yet forgiven himself for allowing it to happen either. "It's good to see you too," he told her, still standing behind the desk. He hadn't yet sat down, unsure if he should. At least his tone was genuine.

She sat the PADDs down on his desk and looked him over before she raised an eyebrow. "I am being very pleased to be serving under you again, Sir," she said when he didn't invite her to sit or something to drink. She wondered for a moment if there was any bad blood between them from the minor cold war, but they had resolved that. The man looked troubled, but even as a confidant of sorts, she knew better than to question him before he was ready. "And to be seeing new ship with same name."

"I still wish the circumstances for that were different," he confessed. There were, after all, two reasons why a ship would be replaced. Either it was destroyed or decommissioned. In a way, Harvey had hoped to command the Black Hawk until either it was decommissioned, or Harvey died. Retirement for him was never an option. At least... not until last night. "It's a hell of a day when a Captain outlives his ship."

Sighing, he added, "I could use some coffee. Thirsty?"

"I would be loving some," Mila said, still standing. "And you should not be thinking of ship in those terms." She paused as she thought about the words she wanted to say. Finally she nodded. "Is simply being new chapter in same book," she decided. "A continuation, but with new characters to be learning with plot being the same. Every day we are being out here is new page which is being written and we become the characters. Is not a true loss and you are having memories of the previous chapter and as long as you are not forgetting those, you are losing nothing."

A simple tap of a button prompted the replicator to produce two fresh cups of coffee. Harvey picked them up, turned and handed one to Mila. "That's the trouble," Harvey said. "I rarely forget anything." He hadn't shared this with anyone, not even Joey, but Harvey had had dreams of his former command, replaying those fateful last days, wondering where he might have gone wrong or where he might have saved his crew.

She accepted the coffee and gave a somewhat sad smile. "Harvey, I am having eidetic memory," she said. "It is like seeing photograph of each memory in my head and I am never forgetting anything. Each moment for as long as I am alive stays with me and all I am having to do is recall it. Is why I went into Administration; it is being easy for me to recall something which I have seen, heard or been told. Is very hard to be making mistake."

Mila paused to take a sip of her coffee. "Is still crap." She set it down on his desk and took a seat without his permission. "You are not to be forgetting, Harvey, but you are not to be repeating. Is big difference, da?"

Harvey's grimace at sampling his coffee was enough to agree with Mila's astute observation of the replicated drink. Sitting behind the desk, Harvey set his mug down and leaned back in his chair. "A big difference indeed. I guess as long as the dwelling doesn't move into haunting, I should be all right."

"If you are needing to talk, you know that I am here for you," she offered. "Is part of being Yeoman and confidant. I am remembering our first meeting when you were being hesitant to give me isolinear chip and instructions you gave me for it. Am I correct in saying that I did not betray you then or since then?"

Harvey fought any attempt for his subconscious to flash an emotion on his face. It was strange, her mentioning an event when he was forced to trust her when he did not have anyone to turn to. The letter he read last night emphasized that he should not trust anyone, a concept that Harvey would certainly struggle with in the days to come until he understood more. If he could understand more. "There isn't much to say," he lied. "Other than I'm sorry we haven't spoken much since New Bajor."

Mila gave a laugh and waved it off. "You were in one place and I was being in another," she said. "It is not like we are inviting each other to our homes. Do not worry about that. We are being together again and that is what is counting, da?"

"Indeed it is," Harvey said. "And the scuttlebutt? What's new among the crew these days, especially with several hundred that weren't with us before?"

"Nyet," she said. "Is too soon for rumor mill to get into full motion. Half of crew is looking at other half of crew and no one is knowing anything yet and everyone is being closed mouthed. As soon as something is coming up, I will be smacking it down or informing you. So, how was your vacation being?"

Harvey couldn't help but flash a half smile at her accent and loose English as she used a verb in its present tense and not past. "It was wonderful. I... I don't suppose you talked to Joey yet, have you?"

"No, I have not," Mila said. "I have been so busy that I am feeling bad that I have not done so sooner. I am seeing that she is now in Intel and am pleased she is in charge of her own department, but other than that, we have not had time to actually meet and talk. Is there something I should be knowing?"

Harvey considered his answer for a moment. On one hand, he could tell her everything, but that would only spoil Mila's and Joey's future conversations. On the other, if he told her nothing, Harvey would be forced to again experience the Russian iceberg. "We're engaged," he simply said, not giving any other indication that there was other news. He'd leave that to her.

"That is being fantastic news!" she said as she jumped to her feet. "When is wedding going to be?" If the desk wasn't between them, the young woman would surely have thrown herself forward and hugged the man she had come to view as someone closer than your average crewman.

"We're not sure yet," he honestly replied. "With what we're about to face... It's hard to set anything in stone." The truth was that they simply hadn't talked about it since the engagement. Harvey thought Joey was waiting on him to bring it up, and that's probably something he should have mentioned last night.

Mila nodded as a thousand more questions went through her mind before she locked onto what he said. "What is our mission, anyway?" she asked him. "I am knowing that I am not being senior staff, but usually talk is going on between departments about what is happening. No one is saying anything now, though and it is being very strange."

The mission in its entirety, or at least the briefing, had been declared above top secret. In fact, in their haste to depart, Harvey had not been able to disseminate what could or could not be shared with the crew. It was obvious the situation on Deep Space Fifteen was deteriorating and it would require all hands. Something had to be shared.

"We'll rendezvous with Task Group Vanguard in the Rakhari Sector," Harvey replied. "From there, a handful of ships will accompany us to Deep Space Fifteen to fortify a Starfleet outpost that the Consortium forced us to abandon."

"That doesn't sound like it is being something which is hush hush," Mila said. She grabbed her coffee cup off the desk just to have something to do with her hands and looked at him again. "In fact, I am thinking there is something beyond that, but I am only being Senior Chief Petty PADDpusher and am not having a need to know unless it is coming across reports which I am bringing to you."

Still leaning back in his chair, he stared at Mila. She was right, Mila had earned his trust.

Trust no one chided the letter that haunted his mind.

Harvey frowned as the two sides of his mind argued, debating the pros and cons about telling her. As the voices intensified, he ultimately blurted, "There is a probe. A Starfleet one, warning of danger."

"A probe warning of danger from Starfleet?" Mila asked as she tried to sort out what that could mean. "Something is going wrong at Deep Space Fifteen and we are not merely being sent in to fortify, but to be making sure that all is as it should be or set it to rights?"

"All the above," Harvey stated. "And possibly more. It's hard to know, seeing how I'm the one who sent the probe."

"You what?" For once, the woman who had so much to say in her unique way expended very little as a sort of shock settled over her brain and prevented her from thinking of what else to ask.

"Exactly," he confirmed. "What? Though, how or when or why are the more appropriate questions. Unfortunately, the answers are on Deep Space Fifteen, and it's going to be a hell of a time getting them."

Mila took a deep breath before she nodded. "If you are needing anything at anytime," she said. "You are knowing how to be getting ahold of me, even if it is just to be talking. I am meaning that, Captain. Something like this is too big to bear alone and you are knowing that I am here for you."

Harvey nodded. "And I thank you for that, Mila. Now, how's the ship herself? I wasn't able to make it to Administration today, so I'm not sure what you have to work with down there."

"It is being fabulous right down to reception area," she said. "I am loving my new office and the pool of Yeomans to choose from is much more extensive. Except for the fact that very few of them are knowing me." She scowled. "I am having to train many of them in my style again, but they will be falling into shape soon. I am sharing some of that space with Commander Teixeira and Lieutenant Langston, but is good. I am giving it my approval."

"As for ship itself, she is being a beauty and I am yet having to take full tour of her," Mila continued. "From what I am seeing so far, it is not Akira, but is having merits of its own and I am certain that we will be putting her through her paces to see how she is to be holding up."

"She's a great ship," Harvey confirmed. "I have a feeling we're going to learn all too quickly what all she can take." If anything, Harvey was certain that the new girl would serve her namesake well.

"I was seeing that Commander Teixeira brought her from Utopia Planetia," she said. "Along with Ensign Khan and Mackie. I am being surprised that he did not have heart attack and that you were not one sitting in command chair for maiden voyage."

"I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack when I found out he was going to remain my XO," Harvey countered. "Starfleet had offered him command of the Cochrane, and the last I heard, he accepted. Khan and Mackie, huh?" Harvey asked, glancing towards the viewport where warp trails streaked by. It was good to hear that among the crew, several very familiar faces had returned.

"It is not many officers who would be turning down offer to be Captain of ship to be serving as Executive Officer once again," Mila noted before she seemed to fade out for a moment mentally before she spoke again. "In fact, records are indicating that few who do get offered second chance at such."

Harvey nodded in agreement. He could only wonder how much Thiago set back his career for refusing the promotion he'd already accepted. In fact, it also made him question Thiago's motives. Was he among those his future self warned not to trust? Could this be a ploy to make a move for the center chair of a more powerful starship? Or did Thiago happen to know something about the future and he chose to stay by Harvey's side as an ally?

She saw the look of concern and something more cross his face, but if he weren't willing to discuss it, she couldn't really offer her advice on it. "At any rate, I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for you, Captain," she said. "Is my job to make sure you are on top of things, da?"

At the sound of her voice, he snapped back into reality. "That it is, Mila," he said. "That it is." He would have to be more careful in the future when it came to concentration and wandering thoughts. "Anything else among the crew that's worth noting?"

"Other than change in Security for Chief and Joey who is now being Intelligence, I am seeing no discrepancies, but if you are wishing, I will be taking fine tooth comb through files," Mila said. "What would I be looking for, though?"

Harvey couldn't say. If he didn't know what to look for, then how could he advise her? A second pair of eyes couldn't hurt, he supposed. Especially if she hadn't been tainted by that damn letter. "Anything out of the ordinary," Harvey simply replied. "Or anything worth a note. I'd also like a complete set of personnel files for review."

She picked up the top PADD from the stack she had brought with her and handed it to him. "There are being right here," she said, her usual efficiency not missing a beat in what the Captain may require. "You will have to be giving you authorization to access everything, but is everything on everyone that Starfleet has on ships crew."

Always thinking ahead, thought Harvey as he leaned forward to accept the PADD. Immediately, he turned it over to take a look at the screen. Were this in print, he'd have no doubt it would rival the ancient Encyclopedia Britannica for its size. "Sounds like you've thought of everything," he told Mila as he tapped in his authorization to preview what was there.

"That is being my job," Mila said simply. "You are to be correcting me if I am wrong, but is my position not Captain's Yeoman?" she asked him with a hint of a smirk.

"The last I checked, it was," Harvey said, brandishing a half smile in response.

"Is there anything else which you are needing?" she asked him as she toyed with the coffee cup in her hands.

The Captain considered it all for a moment and then shook his head. "I think I have all I need for now." Waving the PADD he handed her, Harvey added, "I've got my reading material for the next week right here."

Mila shook her head. "Nyet," she said. "You are having reading material for today. Tomorrow, you are to be getting same amount, but different material. Is there anything which you are wishing me to keep eye on in Administration?"

"Other than the usual elements, I don't think so," Harvey replied. He synced the PADD he held with the desktop terminal so that he could begin to review the dossiers.

"Then if you are needing me, you will be knowing where I am," Mila said as she stood up. "And if you ever needing to talk, I am always being here for you."

Harvey looked back at her. He wanted to reply and thank her, but the words Trust no one. Echoed in his mind once more. His wanting to review all seven hundred and eighty dossiers (save his own) was motivated by identifying people he might or might not be willing or able to trust, not by a simple wanting to know who was under his command. Wasn't he past distrust? Only time would tell. He just needed to get a hold of that probe and verify what was being offered as truth and fact.

In spite of all of that, he just smiled and nodded and Mila. He offered no other verbal response, and turned towards the screen.


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